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Saturday, January 9, 2010

France's mayors 'can sell houses of Senegal's Wade'

President Abdoulaye Wade
President Abdoulaye Wade insists his hands are clean

Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade has said mayors in France can sell any hidden properties which belong to him, after being accused of corruption.

Mr Wade, 83, said he had made the offer "to prove I do not conceal any property in France".

He said any proceeds should go to local charities, reports the AFP news agency.

In November Paris-based activists lodged a formal complaint with a French court accusing Mr Wade of the "illegal acquisition of real estate in France".

The Le Moment de se Lever pour l'Afrique (Time to Rise up for Africa; MLA) group made similar allegations against three other African leaders: Congo's Denis Sassou Nguesso, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, and Omar Bongo of Gabon, who died earlier this year.

Mr Wade said he owned one flat in Paris, which he had "bought 25 years ago, long before I became head of state."

He also said he held just one bank account in France and that he did not own any property in any other foreign country.

Mr Wade, a veteran opposition leader who was first elected president in 2000, spent many years in France and married a French woman.

The government previously said the allegations were intended to tarnish his image since announcing he wanted to stand for re-election in 2012.

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